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The Difference Between Wealth and Riches
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
2006

 

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “wealth” as abundance of valuable material possessions or resources and abundant supply, while it defines riches as things that make a person rich.  It also goes further to define rich as having abundant possessions and material wealth.  It appears that both being wealthy and being rich are similar in relation to humans, but a close observation will show that wealthy is not only a valuable possession, but it has abundant supply.  This means that when you are involved in an activity that generates a lot of money, you are considered rich, but when you create a system of activity for others to generate money, then you are considered wealthy. 

 

A wealthy man create riches or income for others and his systems keeps supplying with abundance, while a rich man makes himself rich and could be making others poor.  The same dictionary defines poor or poverty as lack of supply or possession.  A wealthy man with an idea creates a product or service that is needed by the society and with time, he allows others to get involved to promote that service or product. No one is hurt and everyone involved is blessed from the idea that serves their fellowman.  A rich man almost creates nothing.  He is actually a parasite that thinks he is smart.  He has no intention or lacks the ability to help others.  His main interest is possession of money by skimming the system others have created.  When a society is filled with wealthy people, there is a narrow gap between the have and have not, but when it is filled with rich people, the rich will get richer in the name of inflation that eventually leads to a breakdown of society. 


A wealthy man perceives a car, creates a factory to produce the car, and employ others to work in it.  Soon, the society has what they need (affordable cars), his employees are getting paid, and he is at home sleeping in peace knowing very well that he has changed the life of others.  Another worries about a societal problem or thinks of an environmental good, and decides to create or publish a book about it.  He gets the printers, distributors, libraries, and bookstores involved.  Those who like the content get to tell their friends and if he is lucky, generations will keep buying the book.  It could be a painting, a hospital, a restaurant, or even a CD.  Wealthy people create to satisfy a need at no expense to another.  It might take time, but they always enhance their community or nation.

 

A rich man goes and buys a cheap car from the junk yard for $1,000, fixes it up for another $1,000, and ships it to Nigeria for another $1,000.  He then goes to Nigeria to sell a car that an American car dealer will buy for $50 at $10,000 and then come back to the USA to brag about how he made a profit of $7,000 for nothing.  Yes, he has $7,000 cash but he is putting trash into his own economy at an inflated rate.  The wealthy man and his country that made the car are still the champions.  They already made their profit when the materialized idea was sold.  When the idea became trash and was worthless, the crafty rich man came to buy it as if it had any value.  The crafty rich man did not only clean up their mess from pollution problems, but also compensated them for an idea that was already dead.  He then takes the valueless substance (dead idea/car) to his country and the idea finally dies or breaks down on the road within a year or two.  The rich $7,000 man does not only put inflation in his economy, he also puts pollution there (exhaust waste and the car itself), but most importantly, expands the poverty of his people.  This is because when you pay $10,000 for a car that its maker now values at $50, you are poor. You are not poor because you increased your lack by paying too much, but because there is lack of supply that is why you need to pay too much.  A country that needs cars must have good supply of it by producing it or having a system in place where its citizen will not be cheated and have great return on their investment.

 

A rich man takes his country’s resources and hides it in the Swiss bank.  He is very rich because “his money” is generating interest in his name and can never be recovered by his country or other people.  The wealthy men in Swiss bank take the rich man’s money, invest the money in the Swiss country and on the Swiss people, and give the rich man maybe 5% (being generous) at the expense of his people.  Do not forget that the rich man losses it all if he dies leaving the money with the Swiss.  The rich do not want adequate electricity, so that the poor can struggle to buy the generators that he imports from the wealthy.  He stores his country’s oil in foreign reservoir at some interest rate to cause scarcity in his land, then turns around to inflate the price of oil to his people.  A rich man allows his infrastructures to break down, so that his people will have no hope while he uses hunger as a weapon.  He then turns to the wealthy for foreign aid and expertise, knowing very well that he is going to keep the money and offer some little contracts here and there.  He allows lawlessness so that he can take when he wants, and no one can fight for those he takes from. 

 

The Europeans have chosen wealth as a way of life.  The have learned to invent and create for the common good, and have a spirit of collaboration amongst themselves to create a culture of abundance and supply.  The Africans have chosen riches as a way of life, where they take the leftover of the wealthy to make up for the lack of supply they have intentionally created and use it to feed the poor at an exaggerated inflation rate. The rich unconsciously creates the poor for the benefit of the wealthy, but to the wealthy, the rich and the poor are the same – his employees.  If Nigeria or African must make it and be respected, we must train ourselves to become wealthy and elect leaders that are wealthy.  Wealthy is not tangible money, but materialized ideas that have being brought about by study, discipline, determination, and productivity.  The money will come later or to his children, but the society which he served will be richer, more fulfilled, respected, and blessed